THE PARTY WAGON: AN INSPIRED BLOG ABOUT KIDS, PARTIES & FUN!

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Welcome to The Party Wagon! My name is Lydia , and I will be your hostess on this adventure through adorable children's parties. Get ready for all sorts of goodies, tips, tricks and hints on all things pertaining to entertaining your little ones and their friends!

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Copyright © 2011, Lydia Menzies. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Aug302015

LILLY PULITZER CAKE DECORATING FLAMINGO BIRTHDAY PARTY IDEAS

There is nothing like the bright colors and happy prints of Lilly Pulitzer to make every day feel like a party!  For my daughter's 12th birthday party, she wanted to decorate cakes~ Lilly-style!  So, in order to decide how to mesh the two, I kept thinking "if Lilly had a cake shop instead of a juice stand"... I have to admit, this was one fun party to plan!  It is a blast to see where ideas go in the hands of a TWEEN!  Enjoy and remember, "...being happy never goes out of style!". 

 I actually looked for images of Lilly's first shop in Palm Beach and created our own version of the original store. When the guests arrived, there was a shop set-up with bright, popping colors.  Instead of shifts, as Lilly would have had for sale, we had aprons (made by Little Shepsters on Etsy) for the cake decorating.  I also had a couple of vintage Lilly Pulitzer dresses hanging in the "shop" to give it an authentic feel. I put one of the vintage dresses on an antique dress form with a sign that read, "Open for business".

 Because there are so many, many Lilly prints out there, I asked the Birthday Girl to choose a print that she would like that we could use as the main print and that we could use as a focal point.  She chose the print called "All Nighter" which has really bright colors, swirly paisleys, and hot pink flamingos.  She especially liked the almost-neon yellow that was part of the pattern.  And so, I had aprons made that were solid colors and then trimmed with the print.

As a play on the Birthday Girl's nickname, we had hangtags that read, "Milly Pulitzer" on each apron...

To pull in the flamingos from the pattern, we lined the sidewalk to the entrance with 12 flamingos.  I also hung plants on shepherd hooks to mimic the 'jungle" look that Lilly Pulitzer was so crazy about in real life. 

Of course, there had to be a nod to the Juice Stand...the sign reads, "it all started with a juice stand"...

And, I loved incorporating fruit any place that I could~ fruit is what really started it all!

 Each of the girls wore something Lilly to the party to add to the spirit of the day! It was so fun to see the different prints that they chose and to see how they express their own styles.  The aprons were a fun way to literally tie it all together!

I always love how they help each other...

I ordered a book named ESSENTIALLY LILLY- A Guide to Colorful Entertaining for the girls to sign as a momento for the Birthday Girl to keep and have on her own coffee table one day. It was a fun read for us, too!

After the girls signed the book, they were able to "design their own Lilly print" in cookie form!  I sent a photo of the pattern that we were using for the party to Flourish Sweet Shop and they put the pattern outline on a square cookie.  They also included a paint palette cookie and paint brush so that the girls could paint their own design...they each took a seat around the dining room table and created their own cookie print!

Each place setting had a customized placemat for the guests and a pink glass plate along with the cookies~

The party was mid-afternoon and so there was no need for a meal.  We had many, many different juice choices, water, croissants, popcorn, and lots of Lilly-inspired bakery treats.  I set-up the sweets tables in the kitchen area along with the cake-decorating stations.  We decided to call the cake shop Camille's Cakery. At the Cakery, there was a table with a cake stand for each guest and cake boxes for treats...

I used the Lilly print fabric for one table and then used white on the other tables so that the bakery treats could be seen easily.  There was so much artwork that went into each cookie and sweet- I loved each one! The cake was made by Kathi, at My Sweet Things, and was a crisp white with a preppy, geometric design in blue. On top of the cake was an extraordinary fondant topper handmade by Sachiko at MimiCafe Union NY.

I told Sachiko that the Birthday Girl wanted a Lilly Pulitzer bake shop~ and she created the cake topper with a Lilly printed background and then ityy-bitty bakery treats tucked away on bakery shelves.  It really is amazing! The time and effort alone make it very special, but then to see all of the details makes it hard to even describe!

I also worked with Sogoal of Sogi's Honey Bakeshop to come up with these amazing little cookies! We chose Lilly prints and Sogoal handpainted them on cookies.  

My daughter won't even eat these because they are too pretty!  I have to admit, I wanted to save each one, too.  

And, these!  These amazing little Lilly Pulitzer handbags are just too cute- and 3-D!  Nadia, at My Little Bakery, handcut and hand-painted these...and somehow managed to ship them all in one piece!  I just love these, too!

Thank you, Nadia, for making these for us! I love it that you are not afraid of a challenge!

And, what 12 year old can resist brightly colored cupcakes with confetti sprinkles? Thank goodness for Loralee Lewis and her fabulous paper to dress-up cupcakes with cupcake wrappers and toppers.  "Friends are the Frosting on the Cake" couldn't be more accurate for this party! Loralee designed so many fabulous items for us to help me bring together the theme.  From the invitations to the favor tags, the paper was beautiful and perfect!

The sweet Marie, of Sweets Indeed, sent us these fabulously fun Pineapple Candy Pops!  Candy Kabobs are pretty hard to resist~ especially when they are shaped like a pineapple!  I love the clever designs that Marie comes up with to add sweet creativity to a party! How fun are these?

Of course, my daughter loves decorated cookies in the biggest kind of way.  Tara, at Bambella Cookies, made these lovely cookies to go along with the cake decorating theme.  Tara's style is always unmatched- always very elegant!  I loved the birthday cake cookie customized with a C and a pretty pink bow on it!

Look at the cute frosting tubes...

These flamingo cookies were fun!  The legs tied on with ribbons so that they could strut!

Tara also made an apron cookie that perfectly matched the green apron that the girls wore! I sent her a picture and she designed it to match...

I found the most adorable Pegdoll Shop called Peg and Plum and wanted to incorporate some of her work into the decorations at the party.  I asked Elizabeth if she could make pegdolls dressed in Lilly Pulitzer- and she can (and very well!).  I thought the girls would be "too old" for wooden dolls, but they seemed to love them, too!  I set them out as part of the decorations and the girls wanted to take them home!   

Flourish Sweet Shop sent along some cookie dresses for the party, too!  Dresses, flamingos and paisleys made up the set of cookies that Lisa made for the party, in addition to the cookies that the girls painted.

A fancy drink is always fun- and these fancy fondant flamingo drink toppers from MimiCafe Union are just fantastic!  They each have their own personality and style! I tied a simple blue bow on to glass bottles and added the drink toppers.  The straw keeps the flamingos on the bottles!

I also did a few with pink bows...this one is a little camera shy.

The girls used these awesome cake boxes by Loralee Lewis for their treats so that they can take them home to enjoy!  Sweeter by the Dozen was another fun way of using the birthday girl's new number in the party theme!

And, aren't these customized plates from Loralee so cute?!  I love it that she now offers paper plates for parties- they are always great to have! I just love the special touch they add!

And, then, it was time to decorate some cakes! I set-up 2 tables for the girls to work on while they stacked, frosted, and decorated.  It was fun to watch them use their creativity!  We made homemade buttercream frosting ahead of time and let the girls decide what color they wanted their frosting to be.  We supplied gumballs, Sixlets, sprinkles, and mini cookies to use for decorating the cakes...

All of the mini cookies were chosen to go along with what you would see in Lilly Pulitzer prints.  These cookies were the absolute cutest things and so perfect for decorating the cakes!  Keri, of Picket Fence Confections on Etsy, made them for us.  Keri is one of my favorite people to work with- she makes it so easy!  Her cookies are mini bites of perfection (Keri has even been featured in Martha Stewart for her fab confections!).  Loved them!

I also had small art prints to put around at the party~ all designed by Kelly Tracht on Etsy.  These were perfect to pull in the Lilly look and also made great party favors for the girls!  They were a big hit!! Each was different and so the girls were able to choose their favorite and take home a unique print!

I told the girls to take a look at what they had to use to decorate and make a little plan in their heads about how they want their cake to look.  I also gave them directions on how to start with the cardboard cake round and put frosting on that first to keep the cake from sliding.  We talked about stacking, frosting, and decorating and the girls took off.

The lovely finished products...

The girls also enjoyed taking photos of each other with a Polariod Instax as well as posing for some official photo ops!

Loralee also made these party-perfect water bottle labels with a quote from Lilly Pulitzer...

I also used pineapples a lot to go with the fruit theme, and because we have allergies to flowers in my house! Pineapples make a great decoration when you need to fill a space with something natural other than flowers...

I used pineapple paper lanterns from Oriental Trading to decorate a side porch...

And, Pineapple Sunglasses were a fun part of photos- and they were cute favors for the girls!

SUCH A FUN DAY!  And, this is my favorite picture of the day!

I hope you have enjoyed the fun-filled, bright, happy, Lilly Pulitzer party!  I would love to hear how you celebrate your tweens!  Cheers!

I AM ALWAYS SO GRATEFUL TO THE TALENTED LADIES AND MEN THAT CREATE SO MANY OF THE ITEMS THAT ARE SHOWN IN THE PHOTOS.  YOU ALL HELP BRING THE PARTY TOGETHER AND TO LIFE!  THANK YOU!!

PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR THE LIST OF SHOPS THAT ARE SHOWN WITH LINKS TO HELP YOU FIND YOUR WAY TO THESE WONDERFUL BUSINESSES!

PHOTOGRAPHY- ZOOMWORKS

ALL PAPER PRODUCTS (SIGNS, INVITATIONS, FAVOR TAGS, PARTY HATS, ETC. )- LORALEE LEWIS

CUSTOM APRONS- LITTLE SHEPSTERS

LILLY PULITZER FABRIC (fabulous service!)- LILLY FABRIC CO.

VINTAGE LILLY PULITZER DRESSES- CURRENT VINTAGE

LILLY OUTFITS ON KIDS- CLOISTER COLLECTION OF ATHENS 

FONDANT CAKE TOPPER- MIMI CAFE UNION NY

FONDANT FLAMINGO DRINK BOTTLE TOPPERS- MIMI CAFE UNION NY

CAKE- MY SWEET THINGS

COOKIES MADE TO LOOK LIKE LILLY HANDBAGS/SHOPPING BAGS- MY LITTLE BAKERY

COOKIES WITH PAINT PALETTE AND BRUSH- FLOURISH SWEET SHOP

COOKIE SET WITH DRESSES, PAISLEY DESIGN, AND FLAMINGOS- FLOURISH SWEET SHOP

COOKIE SET WITH CAKES, FROSTING TUBES, AND APRONS- BAMBELLA COOKIES

FLAMINGO COOKIES WITH LEGS TIED ON WITH BOWS - BAMBELLA COOKIES

COOKIE SET OF LILLY PRINTS HANDPAINTED ON COOKIES- SOGI'S HONEY BAKESHOP

PINEAPPLE CANDY POPS/ CANDY KABOBS- SWEETS INDEED

MINI COOKIES USED TO DECORATE CAKES- PICKET FENCE CONFECTIONS

PEG DOLLS- PEG AND PLUM

GLASS CAKE STANDS- MOSSER GLASS

FLAMINGOS IN YARD- ORIENTAL TRADING

PINEAPPLE PAPER LANTERNS- ORIENTAL TRADING

PARTY BY LYDIA AT THE PARTY WAGON

Tuesday
May192015

Jell-O Rain, Marshmallow Fluff Clouds, and Marshmallow Rainbows~ Birthday Party Ideas

Hello!  Today, we are going to share with you a fun idea that is easy for the kids to help make!  The Marshmallow Rainbows have a lot of wow-factor and the kids LOVE to make and eat them!  YOU CAN WATCH US IN ACTION MAKING THESE OVER ON OUR YOU TUBE CHANNEL (we would love for you to subscribe to our channel, too!!).

To make this treat, you will need...

Blue Jell-O to make into "rain",

Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue,colors of Jell-O powder,

Marshmallow Fluff

Mini Marshmallows

Water

Clear Cups

Ziploc Bags (snack size)

Skewers or Cake Wire

Sprinkles (optional)

 

1.  Make blue Jell-O according to the directions on the box.  Divide into individual, clear cups.  While the Jell-O is setting, it is a great time to make the Marshmallow Rainbows!

2.  MARSHMALLOW RAINBOWS- these are fun and easy!! You will need...

Jell-O Powder in all the colors of the rainbow each color poured separately into Ziplocs bags. (We made purple by mixing red and blue.)

Mini Marshmallows

Bowl of Water for dipping marshmallows

Ziploc Baggies

Spoon

Skewers (easiest) or Cake Wire (to shape the cake wire like a rainbow, an adult will have to cut the wire and bend it like an arc to fit the bowl or cup that you use.) 

You will need to first pour the marshmallows in the water and stir to get marshmallows wet.

Spoon the marshmallows into the first color of Jell-O powder that you want to make.  Close the bag tightly and shake to coat the marshmallow.  Tip- don't spoon water into the bag- use a slotted spoon if that helps!

Take colored marshmallows out of the bag and place on waxed paper to let dry for about 2 hours

Repeat with each color.

When marshmallows are coated and dried, assemble them on the skewer or cake wire in the colors of the rainbow.


3.  When the blue Jell-O is set in the cups or bowls, add a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff for the cloud.

4.  Place Marshmallow Rainbow over the top of the cloud.  If you use a cake wire, gently slide the rainbow down the sides of the cup.  Be careful not to let it pop out on you!  Flying rainbows make for big laughs, though, that is for sure!  An adult should help with this part to be safest.   

ENJOY!!  It really is a perfect way to brighten any day!!  We love these for rainy days!

Tuesday
May122015

GRADUATION CUTIES - CLEMENTINE ORANGES and APPLES WITH GRADUATION CAPS- PARTY IDEAS

HELLO AGAIN!  Can you tell we are excited about graduation this year?  This oh-so-simple party idea will have you looking like the smartest (and most clever) hostess in town!  Simply, use a round fruit of your choice...apples, oranges, etc. and add a graduation cap made of cupcake liners and paper!  

Draw a face on the fruit using an edible food marker (found at craft stores in the baking aisle).

For our graduation caps, we cut chalkboard foam board into squares so that we could write messages and names on the tops of the hats with chalk.  You can also just use black construction paper or cardstock.  I am sure a chalk pen would work well, too!

Let me know if you make these!  I can see these being a big hit at Kindergarten Graduations...all the way up to college and beyond!  You can also see how we made more graduation gift ideas on our YouTube Channel.

 

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Sunday
May102015

GRADUATION GIFTS OR PARTY FAVORS- Chalkboard GRADUATION HATS

We are getting ready for two graduations in our family this year!  My nieces are both graduating (one from college and one from high school), and so I thought the kids would love to make something for them to give them on their big day!  This idea is so very easy!  Basically, you can adapt it to make it work for you!  YOU CAN WATCH OUR VIDEO ON HOW TO MAKE THESE! They are easy enough for the kids to do! 

You will need...

1. Clear Containers (we used Starbucks Frappucino Bottles and large Gerber baby food jars)

2. Cupcake Liners (black)

3. Black Paper cut in squares to fit over cupcake liners (we used Elmer's Chalkboard Foam Board so that we could write on the hats easily)

4. Glue or Glue Dots

5. Chalk

6. Yarn for tassels

7. Scissors

8. Hershey Kisses (or candy of your choice)

Fill the container with the candy of your choice. We used Sixlets and Jelly Beans to match the school colors. M&M's work well, too!

To make the graduation cap, place a black cupcake liner over the top of the bottle top. Add the black square to the top with glue. Remember to write your message on the black square before you attach it to the cupcake liner.

For the tassel, use 2 strings of yarn. Put them together and then fold in half. Glue or tape the tassel to the center of the black square. Use these for party favors or as sweet and simple gifts for a graduate. They are great for Kindergarten graduations all the up to college graduations!

Enjoy! 


Friday
May012015

Flower Cookies for Mother's Day or Any Day!

Hello Friends,

 I hope you are all doing well!  My blog has been on "pause" for  awhile mainly due to time contraints.  I am hoping to be back here a little more often and to bring you a few new things along the way.  My kids and I have been playing around with the idea of doing a video for you all.  I must admit, we can only improve from here!! We laugh at our first attempt, but you have to start somewhere...

 We make these marshmallow flowers every year in different versions.  I used to have my classes make these for their moms on Mother's Day (we would invite the moms to a Mother's Day Tea) when I taught school.  They have been a big hit for so many years, and so we thought we would start with something "tried and true" to bring you our first ever video.  Remember, we can only get better from here!! :)  It has been fun and funny to make the video- the kids love the bloopers at the end.  We hope you learn a little something that you can use- and we hope that your kids can learn from it, too!  We would love for it to be a video that they can follow along with and make something fun with minimal help from their parents.  Here goes...please watch our video below (and you can be our very first subscriber- we have 0!)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rGFz_ytJC8

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GIVE US A "THUMBS UP" ON YOUTUBE BY CLICKING ON THE THUMBS UP ICON! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rGFz_ytJC8

 

Flower Cookies- Quick and Easy
You will need…
Sugar Cookies
Marshmallows
Skittles (or other round candy)
Sprinkles
White Icing
Food Coloring
1.  Combine the white icing with one or two drops of food coloring to make the colors that you want.  Make in small batches.
2.  Spread the icing on a sugar cookie.
3.  Use kitchen scissors (adults only) and cut a marshmallow into five "petals".
4.  Put marshmallow petals on the icing on the cookie.
5.  Add a candy center.
6.  Sprinkle sprinkles on marshmallow petals
7.  Serve and enjoy!

 

Also happy to link up to href="http://www.kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com" target="_blank">KitchenFun